MARCHING FOR LIFE….LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

MARCHING FOR LIFE….LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

As I said on one of my last posts from D.C., the March for Life was a truly great moment in my trip, a real highlight, the first time I’d ever experienced a MFL. I would love to have done more with and for the EWTN crew but the real experts such as Teresa Tomeo and her March colleagues did such a stellar job.

Crowds waiting to go through security to get to the stage area:

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Crowds at foot of Washington Monument:

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I took quite a number of photos at the March and, as I hope you know, also posted several Facebook Live reports. There was some jamming by the Secret Services (to be expected when the president or, in this case, vice president ìs on the premises), so there were a few pauses in the videos. I wanted to post the photos Friday but did not get back to my computer until well after 8 pm at which time I was due to have dinner with a friend.

The media tent:

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When I arrived at EWTN’s “field office” (tents and trucks housing technical equipment, food, coffee, etc.), on March Day I walked around the premises near the large staging area to get an idea of atmosphere, crowd size, signs, etc. and to listen to the speakers and musicians who were part of the MFL event.

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Vice president Pence’s car:

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Security for the veep:

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The very moment I tried to move out to the field in front of the stage to get better photographs, the Secret Service and other police officers arrived and began to readjust all the metal barriers, in particular closing any openings that allowed the media and media guests to move about. I spoke to one agent, saying I was to go in front of the stage to take photos and then asked if I could leave the area where I was now fenced in. His response: “I think not.”

Teresa Tomeo interviewing Marchers:

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She is just a red speck in the center of this photo – Kellyann Conway is descending the stage steps after addressing the crowd:

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I was not the only one, of course, to now be restricted in my movements. The guests invited to speak or be on stage (Bishop Baker – he’s wearing glasses in this photo, Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey and members of Congress, were asked to stay behind barriers as VP Pence arrived. I slipped into this group and was thus able to get some of the photos you see here today – albeit behind the scenes, not in front of the stage.

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I also have a few photos as we started to march. What I found remarkable as I spoke to people was learning of the increase in marchers this year from schools, parishes, dioceses etc. Some marchers, for example, said their parish had 2 busses of pro-life marchers last year and 4 buses this year – similar stories throughout the day.

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As I tried to move through the crowd at various points, my path was often blocked – by fans! I was not blocked, of course, but just slowed down as so many people who follow me in various roles as EWTN wanted to say hi and give me a hug or take a selfie or family photo. It was a wonderful, warm feeling on a very cold day!  Heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you – individuals, families, parishes and pastors!

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Hopefully you were able to follow this historic event on EWTN as we transmitted hours and hours of speeches, interviews, music, etc.

Here is the EWTN video of Vice President Pence’s speech: https://www.facebook.com/ewtnonline/videos/

To read the full transcript of Vice President Pence’s remarks, click here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/27/march-life-remarks-vice-president-pence-prepared-delivery

 

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FB STATS FOR EWTN FOR THE MARCH FOR LIFE WEEK

FB STATS FOR EWTN FOR THE MARCH FOR LIFE WEEK

Overall post reach:                         6,661,371 (Record-breaking: over   6.6 MILLION!)

Weekly Likes:                                   +4,479

Wings sign-ups this week:               359

We posted two live videos of the March since they have a 4-hour maximum time limit: (Numbers will continue to go up this weekend as more people watch!)

Rally & March Live Video:           2.2 million people reached

135.2K post clicks

121.7K reactions/comments/shares.

Pre-rally Live Video:                      1.6 million people reached

71.5K post clicks

57.2K reactions/comments/shares.

Post saying Pence would speak:   940.1K people reached

50K post clicks

52.4K reactions/comments/shares.

 

SIGNS OF LIFE

SIGNS OF LIFE

It is getting late on Sunday, January 29, 2017, my final full day of 12 indescribable days of historical events, wonderful lunches, dinners and receptions with friends, with everything culminating in the March for Life on Friday – the 44th in time but the first I’ve ever participated and it was wonderful beyond telling. Every person I met was so special, the young, the young at heart and the very, very young – those just a few months old, whose right to be born we were defending.

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The passion of those marching for life was powerful, passion for the rights and dignity of the unborn, for life at all its stages and for joyful living was on their faces, their jackets and head coverings and neck scarves and banners and flags!

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My suitcase is packed and I’m ready to leave for Rome tomorrow, but first I want to post a few photos that I call “signs of life” before enjoying a late, farewell dinner with my hostess and friend Kathy.

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I would have loved to post all my photos during the events themselves or very shortly afterwards but that was just never possible. I hope you don’t mind a March for Life report that is “better late than never.”

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I had a very privileged seat at the vigil Mass for Life on Thursday at the magnificent shrine of the Immaculate Conception and will also post those photos and tell that story – but later. It will still be relevant, though after the fact. Of course, I’ll post pictures taken at the March itself, an event that will always have a special place in my heart and memories, in particular because of the historic presence of Vice President Pence – first time ever a high ranking (second highest!) official of an administration has been present at a rally and addressed the marchers in 44 years!

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The young people in D.C. for the March were the stars, as far as I was concerned. They are the present and the future of our nation and from what I saw and heard, our country’s future looks good!

My personal favorite sign:

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I have a countless number of credentials hanging on my office door from covering various papal and Church events but this may well be my very preferred:

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I’ll sign off for now. Tomorrow is part one of my journey to Rome, an overnight flight to Munich and then part two, the flight to Rome on the 31st.

 

Story to continue after my arrival.